The partnership between Mars and the Rainforest Alliance aims to improve the yield of the crops and to ensure that the practices of farmers do not damage the environment. Last year Mars began working on a five-year, $10 million project to map the entire cocoa genome with the aim of developing trees that can better survive drought and disease.
Cocoa is farmed on more than 18 million acres of tropical land and can be cultivated under the shade of native canopy trees. According to the Rainforest Alliance, without training farmers cannot sustain strong yields in the face of disease, inclement weather and price fluctuations.
Working with the Rainforest Alliance will help Mars--one of the world's largest chocolate makers--take an unprecedented step to make a positive impact on the cocoa industry, farmers and chocolate lovers. To read more about the partnership, click here.